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When Do Year 13 (Sixth Forms) Finish School in 2023?

When do year 13 finish school

As the academic year is well underway, students and parents may wonder when Year 13 will finally finish in 2023. With graduation ceremonies and future plans on the horizon, feeling a sense of anticipation is natural. 

This article will explore the factors determining when Year 13 (Sixth Form) students will officially finish school in 2023, from exam schedules to university application deadlines. 

If you’re curious about planning ahead or simply counting down the days until freedom beckons, read on for all you need to know.

What is the Sixth Form?

In the UK, there are two sorts of sixth forms. Students can enroll in an independent sixth-form college or a sixth-form affiliated with a school, staying under one roof from Year 7 to Year 13 (or entering at Year 12).

A school’s sixth form will prepare 16 to 18-year-olds for college admission through A-levels, IB, Highers, or Pre-U coursework.

Some sixth forms also prepare students for BTECS and apprenticeships. The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a popular option for independent sixth-form students.

Compared to regular schools, most sixth-form colleges offer 16 to 18-year-olds a broader variety of subjects and degrees.

In most cases, students are also free to choose any combination of subjects; there are up to 40 A-Level options and the EPQ and vocational and technical certificates.

Read Also: How Do You Take a Gap Year in the UK

How to Apply for Sixth Forms

Students who wish to enroll in the Sixth Form at an existing school must often have a minimum GCSE grade level. This may include up to six A*/A grades at the GCSE level.

The application procedure should normally start 18 months before to the student’s scheduled entry date if they wish to enroll in a different school’s sixth form for their senior year. 

There are various entry standards for school sixth forms, but many are academically difficult, and there is fierce rivalry for spots.

A written or computer-based examination and a face-to-face interview will be part of the two-stage assessment process used by most selective sixth forms.

The application deadline to sixth-form colleges is often in May, but many students will submit their applications at the start of their thirteenth year.

What Time Do Sixth Forms Adjourn for the Summer?

It is ultimately up to your school and local municipality to decide when schools should break for the summer. However, the government can set guidelines.

In Year 12, the first year of sixth form, it is clearer when the summer term will end. This is mostly a result of the General Certificate of Education (GCE) exams becoming less and less common.

You do not need to take a GCE exam in Year 12 if you take the A-Level exams in Year 13. You might take a practice test for the school evaluation to prepare for Year 13.

Some institutions, though, can mandate that you take the AS exams in Year 12. 

Year 12 students will, therefore, complete their sixth form year in the summer at the same time as the rest of the school. This usually occurs during the last week of July or sooner.

How to Select the Appropriate Sixth Form

  • Determine if you want to pursue IB or A-Levels, and confirm that the sixth form you select offers the curriculum and subjects you desire.
  • Before selecting your A-Levels, IB, or Highers topics, know the criteria for the university program or vocation you wish to pursue.
  • Consider the type of sixth form you desire. Sixth Form options include continuing at the same school, changing schools, or enrolling in a Sixth Form College.
  • Moving to boarding for the Sixth Form is a popular option for students transitioning from single-sex to coed institutions.
  • How many students continue to the Sixth Form? This is a reliable sign of how well the institution teaches A-level subjects. If the school has a relatively tiny sixth form, there may be insufficient A-level topics, or the instruction isn’t up to par.
  • What grades are necessary to transfer to a new sixth form or remain in the current sixth form? Six A*/A GCSE results may be required for admission to or enrollment in the sixth form at academic schools.

Factors like the facilities’ condition and the pastoral care program’s quality should also be considered.

Read Also: 15 Best Online A-Level Courses – Student Ranking for 2023

When Do the 13th Grade Leave School?

Students in year 13 often leave school after their last academic year. However, the precise date may change based on several variables, such as the nation or school system they are in. Let’s investigate this in greater detail.

United States

Year 13 is frequently called the US’s final year of high school. Graduation ceremonies are usually held in May or June when students in the U.S. conclude their academic year. Although the precise date may differ from one school district to the next, it often falls within this time window.

United Kingdom

After their A-level exams, Year 13 students in the UK typically graduate from high school in June or July. Although the precise date may vary from school to school, it usually falls around this period.


Year 13 pupils in Australia graduate from high school after their academic year, which usually ends in November or December. Depending on the state and educational institution, the precise date could change.

New Zealand

Like Australia, Year 13 pupils in New Zealand finish their coursework around the school year’s conclusion, typically in November or December.

School Year Duration

The school year for Year 13 typically begins in early September. This is when students return to school after the summer break, ready to tackle their final year of high school.

The exciting part is that the school year doesn’t stretch endlessly; it’s divided into terms.

Term Dates

The school year is divided into three terms: Autumn, Spring, and Summer. Here’s a breakdown of the term dates for Year 13 in 2023:

Autumn Term: Usually starts in early September and runs until mid-December. This is the longest term of the school year, encompassing the majority of Year 13 studies.

Spring Term: Begins in early January and continues until late March or early April. During this term, students are gearing up for exams and final assessments.

Summer Term: Kicks off in late April or early May and ends in July. This is the term when students typically complete their exams and coursework.

Autumn Term

  • Start Date: September 4, 2023
  • Half-Term Break: October 21, 2023 – October 29, 2023
  • End Date: December 15, 2023

Spring Term

  • Start Date: January 9, 2024
  • Half-Term Break: February 17, 2024 – February 25, 2024
  • End Date: April 5, 2024

Summer Term

  • Start Date: April 22, 2024
  • Half-Term Break: May 27, 2024 – June 4, 2024
  • End Date: July 19, 2024

Year 13 Exam Dates

Year 13 Exam Dates: One of the most critical phases of Year 13 is the exam period. In 2023, Year 13 students can expect their exams to take place during May and June. This period is when students put their knowledge and skills to the test, aiming to achieve the grades they need for their plans.

Graduation Time

After all the hard work and exams, the much-anticipated graduation ceremony awaits Year 13 students. Graduation ceremonies often occur in July or early August. It’s a time for students to celebrate their achievements with friends and family.

Transition to Higher Education

Once the graduation caps are tossed, and diplomas are in hand, many Year 13 students transition to higher education. Universities and colleges typically start their academic year in September, so Year 13 graduates have a few months to prepare for this exciting new chapter.

How Much is Sixth Form?

The annual tuition at independent sixth-form colleges ranges from £15,000 to $25,000. Day school sixth forms range in price from roughly £15,000 to over £40,000 per year for the best boarding schools.

Read Also: What Time Do Schools Start and Finish in the UK?

FAQs About Year 13 School Finish in 2023

1. When exactly does Year 13 finish in 2023?

Year 13 students in 2023 can expect to finish school in July or early August.

2. What happens after Year 13 finishes?

After finishing Year 13, many students attend higher education, such as universities or colleges, which typically start in September.

3. How long does each school term last in Year 13?

The Autumn Term typically lasts from early September to mid-December, the Spring Term from early January to late March or early April, and the Summer Term from late April or early May to July.

4. When do Year 13 exams take place in 2023?

Year 13 exams in 2023 are scheduled for May and June.

5. Is Year 13 the UK’s final year of high school?

Yes, Year 13 is the final year of high school in the United Kingdom, marking the end of secondary education for students.


Year 13 students in the UK will finish school in 2023 according to the standard academic calendar. The end date will vary depending on the institution and examination boards, but it is generally expected to be around late May or early June. 

As these students prepare for their final exams and embark on the next chapter of their lives, they must stay focused and make the most of their remaining time in school. Whether they plan to pursue higher education, enter the workforce, or take a gap year, this final stretch offers a valuable opportunity for growth and reflection. Therefore, let us support and encourage these Year 13 students as they navigate this crucial period and look forward to a bright future.



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